Maine Summer Program Overview
Join other travelers your age and explore Acadia National Park, home to some of the most spectacular scenery on the East Coast! There is plenty to discover in this well-loved park including a wide variety of wildlife and natural wonders.
Embark on trails that wind through lush woods and along granite cliffs and reveal crystal clear lakes and incredible ocean views all along the way. Venture out on a variety of hikes to fully appreciate the unique landscape, including an early morning hike to Cadillac Mountain — the first place in the US to see the sunrise!
Ride bikes through the scenic trails and kayak along the rugged coastline in search of wildlife. Sunbathe and swim in the sea and spend your evenings stargazing.
This is the perfect trip for travelers looking to explore the great outdoors with a small group of like-minded peers. Our middle school programs are age-appropriate and a great way for younger teens to explore group travel in a safe environment and catch the travel bug early!
During this program, you will…
- Kayak along the coast in search of seals and porpoises
- Hike through lush forests and along granite cliffs with sweeping views
- Go on a thrilling whale watching adventure
- Sunbathe on the beach and swim in the Atlantic Ocean
- Ride mountain bikes or stroll along the quaint carriage roads throughout the park
- Relax by the famous Jordan Pond and hike to iconic viewpoints
- Rock climb along the sea cliffs for a thrilling adrenaline rush*
- Admire the milky way in the night sky every evening
- Spot a wide variety of wildlife, including moose!
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN BAR HARBOR
Say hello to your new group of friends for the next week! Fun bonding games and ice breakers encourage the group to get to know one other and get excited for the adventures to come.
DAYS 2-6: BAR HARBOR & ACADIA NATIONAL PARK
Acadia is every outdoor lover’s dream! There are endless hiking trails to choose from and every day offers new opportunities to explore the area’s stunning scenery. Some of our adventure options even include the thrilling hike along granite cliffs with unparalleled sweeping views of the vast Atlantic!
Ride bikes or choose to stroll along the park’s scenic carriage trails and enjoy a picnic at the famous Jordan Pond.
In addition to fully exploring the park on land, we will surely take to the ocean as well! Embark on an exciting sea kayaking tour to the surrounding islands in search of wildlife — keep an eye out for porpoises, seals, eagles, and even Puffins!
After kayaking, venture out on a whale watching tour in search of some of the ocean’s most majestic creatures. Spot Minke, Finback, and Humpback whales along with a variety of other marine life.
Relax on one of the park’s many beautiful beaches and enjoy a refreshing ocean swim.
Adventure seekers will have the opportunity to rock climb along the ocean cliffs for the ultimate thrill.
DAY 7: RETURN HOME
The friendships and memories we made in Acadia will last a lifetime!
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
All accommodations on this trip have been selected to ensure quality while still maintaining character of the places we are visiting.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included in cost (this not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; visas and visa application fees; lunches; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
What is the average group size?
This program is designed to be a small group adventure. Our participants will travel in a “pod” to allow us to easily social distance from outside parties. The maximum group size is 14 travelers and two staff members.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food is an integral aspect of the travel experience, and we make an effort to eat at authentic establishments whenever possible. There is no better way to immerse ourselves in the culture of a place than through sampling the local delicacies. We stray away from westernized restaurants and chains that cater to tourists because every true traveler knows the best food is found where the locals are eating!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor. For Specific questions pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.